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Renewables Could Power 139 Countries Entirely ‘By 2050’

Posted: 24/08/2017

Some 139 of the world’s most industrialised countries could be powered exclusively by renewable energy by the year 2050, new research from Stanford University highlights.

Making the transition to renewable energy could see less energy consumption around the world because clean electricity is more efficient. It could also result in a yearly decrease in the millions of air pollution deaths that occur, the Scotsman reports.

The scientists involved believe that by using 100 per cent water, wind and solar energy, 24 million jobs could be created into the bargain. It would also help to stabilise energy prices, potentially reduce the risk of global conflict and save $20 trillion a year in health and climate costs.

The 139 countries featured in the study were chosen because collectively they emit more than 99 per cent of all carbon dioxide worldwide. Places like the US and China, with a bigger share of land per population, were predicted to have the easiest time in making the move to 100 per cent renewables. But places like Singapore, which are densely populated, small and surrounded by ocean, may have to invest in offshore solar in order to fully convert to renewable energy.

Director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Programme professor Mark Jacobson, was quoted by the news source as saying: “Both individuals and governments can lead this change. Policymakers don’t usually want to commit to doing something unless there is some reasonable science that can show it is possible, and that is what we are trying to do. There are other scenarios. We are not saying that there is only one way we can do this, but having a scenario gives people direction.”

Benefits of making the move to 100 per cent renewable energy include reducing international power demand by approximately 13 per cent, less dependence on other countries for fossil fuels (thus reducing the likelihood of global conflicts over energy), and eliminated energy use associated with the likes of mining, transporting and refining fuels like oil, gas and uranium.

It would also mean that those people living in energy deserts would be able to access lots of clean, renewable power, the report concluded.

This follows law firm TLT revealing that offshore wind mergers and acquisitions activity in renewable energy last year saw a 112 per cent increase, reaching a record £6.6 billion. Biomass was found to perform particularly well, with investments reaching another record of £498 million (up 43 per cent). It went on to predict that activity across the renewables sector would likely remain strong in 2017, with £2.9 billion registered for the first quarter of the year.

National Grid confirmed earlier this year that the UK had succeeded in enjoying its first day without coal-fired energy since the industrial revolution – so it certainly seems as though renewables are on the up right now.

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